We have a number of reasons for thinking that -- the most obvious being that Ray Rizzo is the greatest name a human being has ever been given -- but Rizzo's accomplishments speak for themselves. He placed first in the Masters division of the 2011 Pokémon World Championships, bringing the gold home for the United States; as did Junior and Senior division winners Brian Hough and Kamran Jahadi. Take that, every other country!
These big, American heroes will take home portions of a $100,000 scholarship fund made available to competitors in the video game and trading card game tournaments. Still, we think being lifted on the shoulders of your peers and told that you're the greatest Pokémon player on the planet is probably reward enough.
Elite Players from More Than 27 Countries Battled in San Diego for the Ultimate Titles of Pokémon Trading Card Game and Video Game World Champions
San Diego, California - August 15th, 2011 - The dreams of competitive Pokémon™ Trading Card Game (TCG) and video game players around the world came true for a select few this weekend at the 2011 Pokémon World Championships in San Diego, CA.
Thousands of the world's top Pokémon Trading Card Game and video game players, family, friends, and fans attended the most anticipated event of The Pokémon Company International's Play! Pokémon season. The 2011 Pokémon World Championships featured the world's best Pokémon players competing for the title of World Champion after advancing through nearly a year of regional and national tournaments around the globe.
Once the dust settled after three days of intense Pokémon Trading Card Game and video game battles, six skilled individuals were crowned World Champions, proudly representing their family, supporters, and home countries. The Pokémon Company International announced today its 2011 Pokémon World Champions:
2011 Pokémon TCG Junior Division World Champion, Gustavo Wada from Brazil.
2011 Pokémon Video Game Junior Division World Champion, Brian Hough from the USA.
2011 Pokémon TCG Senior Division World Champion, Christopher Kan from Australia.
2011 Pokémon Video Game Senior Division World Champion, Kamran Jahadi from the USA.
2011 Pokémon TCG Masters Division World Champion, David Cohen from the USA.
2011 Pokémon Video Game Masters Division World Champion, Ray Rizzo from the USA.
More than 400 players from over 27 countries competed in the annual event. Winners of the invite-only tournament received medals, trips, Pokémon merchandise, and collectively more than $100,000 in scholarships. The event showcased the chief qualities of Pokémon Trading Card Game and video game players: skill, strategy, creativity, sportsmanship, and fun.
"The Pokémon World Championships is more than a tournament; it's a global event for our entire community to compete, have fun, and create lifelong friendships," said J.C. Smith, director of Consumer Marketing for The Pokémon Company International. "It's been an incredible weekend, and we couldn't be happier to congratulate this year's World Champions for their dedication, their unbelievable talent, and most importantly, their sportsmanship during the entire Play! Pokémon season."
Pokémon is celebrating a blockbuster year in 2011 with the launch of the best-selling Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version video games; a brand-new trading card game expansion, Pokémon TCG: Black & White; an all-new season of animation, Pokémon: Black and White; and the debut of the hit movie, Pokémon-Zoroark: Master of Illusions.
To view the results of the 2011 Pokémon World Championships, including official standings, photos, videos, and player interviews, visit www.pokemonworldchampionships.com.
2011 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Finalists - Junior Division(born in 2000 or later)
World Champion: Gustavo Wada (Brazil)
Second Place: Kohei Takenaka (Japan)
2011 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Finalists - Senior Division(born in 1996–1999)
World Champion: Christopher Kan (Australia)
Second Place: Marco Facchin (Italy)
2011 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Finalists - Masters Division (born in 1995 or earlier)
World Champion: David Cohen (USA)
Second Place: Ross Cawthon (USA)
2011 Pokémon Video Game World Finalists - Junior Division(born in 2000 or later)
World Champion: Brian Hough (USA)
Second Place: Ian McLaughlin (USA)
2011 Pokémon Video Game World Finalists - Senior Division (born in 1996–1999)
World Champion: Kamran Jahadi (USA)
Second Place: Sejun Park (South Korea)
2011 Pokémon Video Game World Finalists - Masters Division (born in 1995 or earlier)
World Champion: Ray Rizzo (USA)
Second Place: Matteo Gini (Italy)